Document of Learning – Eminent Interviews

For my eminent interviews, I had the pleasure of interviewing two Masterchef winners: Christine Ha and Luce Manfe.

Let’s start with Christine.
Image result for christine haChristine Ha is an incredibly notable cook. One of the main reasons she is so revered is because she’s a blind chef. She was diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica as an adult, which is a disease in which a person’s immune system attacks the optic system and spinal cord. Although she lost her vision, she is still able to create beautiful and delectable dishes while navigating her way around a kitchen, which includes ovens, stoves, knives, and other appliances that might be dangerous to someone who cannot see.


(I had a screenshot of an email but it won’t show up on my blog for some reason.)

I contacted her via the contact information I got through her website. Her assistant replied to me and graciously accepted my request for an e-mail interview.  I came up with 13 questions that I sent to her, and she answered every one of them with thought. She told me a bit about how Gordon Ramsay impacted her as a chef – she calls him “a great mentor and motivator” and charismatic. He told her to believe in herself, and Christine thinks that confidence goes a long way in the culinary world.

She also offered some insight into the world of restaurants. She says that most restaurants don’t earn much of a profit.

“A chef my have wonderful food, but may not have the business sense to keep the restaurant in the green.”

Gordon is able to run multiple restaurants at a high profit and turns out delicious food. From this information, I deduct that Gordon is a great businessman. This is also shown by his ability to aid businesses in need on his shows like Kitchen Nightmares and Hotel Hell.


The second person I interviewed was Luca Manfe. He was born in Italy and moved to America, where he worked as a restaurant manager in New York before he competed on Masterchef. He is the returning contestant, as well as first male contestant to win the show.

Image result for luca manfe

My second interview was a lot more nerve-wracking. First of all, it was with the first Masterchef winner who’s full season I had followed from start to finish, and secondly, it was over the phone, which meant that the interview was happening in real time and I had to think and speak on the spot. I recorded this interview using my phone so that I could listen to if for reference.

He provided some opinions of what he thought of Gordon’s shows. He’s not exactly a fan of the more aggressive shows that involve tons of swearing and anger. He believes that his performances on those shows are definitely exaggerated for entertainment. This is something I want to get across to anyone who only has a stereotypical impression of who Gordon Ramsay is.

Although I learned much from these two Masterchefs, I would say the most valuable thing I took away from my Eminent Interview experience was realizing that if you reach out, you will get a reply. (Duh, right?) I’ve always been scared of messaging people or reaching out to strangers for help, but this year I learned the value of  shooting off emails like crazy. Last year, I just met a past art teacher in person for my interview and didn’t search for alternate sources because I was too scared to hold an interview with someone I wasn’t familiar with.

I think I could definitely improve with my interviewing and communication skills. My family are all people who only clarify our plans at the very last minute. When my brother and I text, he only responds at the last possible moment, the moment when I NEED a reply…and vice versa. Most of our inter-familial conversations go something like this:

Person A: Can we do this thing on Monday

Person B: idk what time

Person A: 4:30

(3 days later)

Person A: ??? ????? ????????? hello

(Monday, 4:20)

Person B: I’m outside

Sure, its frustrating, but it somehow works. Since we’re all such *flexible* people who don’t communicate, I went berserk the first year of TALONS. Schedules who? Planning what?  Actual structured itineraries? Self-directed learning??? It was such a contrast from what I was used to. I admit I was overwhelmed, and I dedicated myself so tightly to having a plan and completing everything and going beyond the call of duty that at the times I didn’t have homework I would just sit on my bed with nothing to do, forgetting that my hobbies existed, that I was allowed to take time for hobbies, still feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. If I wasn’t feeling stressed or angry, I felt wrong. This was because at school, I was rewarded for the work I did when I was feeling upset. I became distant from my friends, because I didn’t consider hanging out with them to be “productive” or “beneficial”. Instead of finding a balance, I went to the extremes. This made me very unhappy all of last year. I wasn’t fun to be around. When I was with my friends, I wanted to be doing homework. When I was doing homework, I wanted to be chilling with my friends.

I now realize that this lifestyle is just really stupid. There’s no better word for it. This year, sure, my grades are slipping, but my emotions won’t. Maintaining high self-esteem without material validation, such as the approval of teachers, is on my list of priorities now.

This all connects back to learning to communicate better, with my family, myself, and interviewees. After an interview, I often found myself wishing I’d asked a different question, or grabbed an opportunity to delve deeper into something the interviewee said. I believe both my interviews could have provided more useful information if I were more competent at communication. I might improve at communicating by speaking out when planning projects or events even if it feels necessary.

3 Wise Nuggs

  1. The way you communicate with people to make them feel comfortable is as (if not more) important than having pedantic knowledge.
  2. Consider being in medicine more of a lifestyle than a job. Even when you’re off work, the concern of your patients is always carried around with you.
  3. Once you’ve had the clarification of whether or not you seriously consider perusing a career path, the rest is hard work and dedication.

Document of learning 1: Eminent

Thus far, I have successfully strung together a series of ideas and works in which I believe will allow my notable to truly shine through as the remarkable man he was, and the interesting life he lived. Although it is nearing the end of the project, I have come across some major breakthroughs via studying and absorbing the data and information given to me.

Of the breakthroughs, the one I am most proud of is my learning center design. After reevaluating my options time and time again, I settled on a scene from one of Charlie’s films, Gold Rush. During this film, The Tramp (played by Charlie) and Big Jim McKay (Mack Swain) are trapped in a cabin after they rushed to the area to secure their share of the gold rush occurring. Little did they know that a snowstorm would come along and ruin their intent, forcing them into a tight space in which they must work with one another to survive the storm. This lead to them eating a shoe, in one of the scenes which inspired multiple comedy scenes in modern day productions. Another example was when they had the entire cabin tipping back and forth in a unique idea in which they added hinges to make it appear as though the cabin were truly tilting off the edge of a cliff. I hope to incorporate both of these into an interactive learning center with multiple activities and other items to increase the attention drawn to my station.

Another addition to my learning was to compile all of my eminent criteria and progress into a single google document, keeping me up to date on anything that I did not have the sheet on hand to deal with. This idea of a “Master Document” allowed me to continue working diligently on my project with the pros of a lighter bag, less stress as to whether or not I forgot any sheet or information and remain at maximum efficiency.

Overall, the project is becoming an overwhelming success and I hope to see each and everyone of my ideas through. Until next time, thanks for reading!

3 Wise Nuggs

I took a lot of “nuggs” from my interview, but these 3 really stood out to me:

  1. Be ambitious and take risks, it’s essential in getting what you really want.
  2. Be open to new opportunities and have an open mind to new ideas or paths.
  3. Working with others can provide an environment and community that working alone cannot. Being in a group can make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself.

3 Wise-Nugs from Practice Interviews

For my practice interview, I emailed Louisa Butler (Owen’s aunt) who works as a nurse in the OR (operating room).

Here are 3 inspiring wise-nugs that I took away from our conversation over phone:

  1. It is important that nurses realize the importance of their actions as they are helping people at their most vulnerable and critical time.
  2. It is not necessary to have “people-skills” or characteristics that suit a career as long as one feels passionate about their line of work, because one learn skills through experiences over time.
  3. A person who has balance between their work life and home life is very admirable as it is tough to differentiate the line between personal and professional life.